Mandeville Police Chief “100 percent behind” self-defense shooting
Kim Chatelain of The Times-Picayune reports that Mandeville Police Chief Rick Richard said he is “100 percent behind” the decision by North Shore District Attorney Warren Montgomery to not bring charges against a legally-armed citizen who fatally shot an attacker at a Mandeville convenience store in April. While tragic, Richard said the incident was a clear-cut case of self defense.
Montgomery’s office issued a statement Friday (May 27) says the shooting death of Shawn Breland, 42, of Folsom, “was legally justified under the circumstances” and that the district attorney will not pursue a criminal change against the unidentified shooter (NOLA.com).
“The man was in fear of his life and he had no place to run,” Richard said Tuesday (May 31). “He ran out of options” (NOLA.com).
The shooter, who was a customer at the convenience store and carried a holstered handgun on his side, fatally wounded Breland after a “highly agitated” Breland attacked him, police have said. Neither police nor the district attorney’s office has publicly identified the armed citizen in the shooting at the Shell gasoline station and convenience store at 3959 Louisiana 22. Breland died at Lakeview Regional Medical Center shortly after the 10 a.m. incident on April 4 (NOLA.com).
Police said Breland berated and used racial slurs toward the store clerk, who is of Middle Eastern descent, before the customer intervened in an attempt to defuse the situation. Breland left, but re-entered the store several times, becoming more aggressive each time, authorities have said (NOLA.com).
The armed citizen, who was inside the store trying to make a purchase, followed Breland outside to get his license plate for police, but Breland got out of the vehicle and attacked him, police said. The customer drew his weapon, ordered Breland back and retreated into the store, but Breland followed and continued the attack, grabbing for the gun, according to authorities (NOLA.com).
After being backed into a corner of the store by an attacking Breland, the man fired one round, striking Breland, and fired twice more when Breland kept coming at him, police said. The district attorney’s office released surveillance video from the store that shows the incident unfolding. (See above. Warning: graphic content (NOLA.com).
While the video evidence supports the decision by the district attorney, Richard said investigators did not rely solely on the video in making a decision not to arrest or prosecute the shooter. He said a thorough investigation was conducted (NOLA.com).
“Certainly, the video is very telling, but we interviewed several witnesses in the store and they all had the same story,” Richard said. “The totality of the evidence supports the decision by the DA” (NOLA.com).
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